To Moderate or not to Moderate? That’s the Question, but What’s the Answer?

What's moderate? A whole bottle of wine? Two? None?

What’s moderate? A whole bottle of wine? Two? None?

As bloggers, we get all kinds of comments. They are intrinsic to the whole bloggy bit. I look forward to comments. I like making comments. They are the lifeblood of the blogging world. They range from the hilarious to the poignant. But every now and then, we can get comments that prompt a different range of reaction.

There’s the kind that sets your teeth on edge. The kind that pisses you off. The kind that creeps you out.

I publish comments that I don’t agree with. I try to address them the best way I can without being rude or offensive. Live and let live. Not everyone is the same and diversity is healthy.

The creepy ones? The ones that make you feel like you’ve stepped on a dead slug with your bare foot? Those get labelled as spam and sent somewhere.

Then there’s the kind that you don’t know what to do with.

I got one of those yesterday. It rambles and it’s contradictory. It’s confusing at times. It sounds like Sarah Palin.

It could be an honest attempt at expression from someone who struggles with that … or maybe not.

The other thing is that there are bits of it that I really disagree with, and that’s the problem.

Am I being a chickenshit? Am I being lazy? Do I just not want to deal with the layers of stuff going on in this comment? Am I saying that this is my blog, I don’t like that comment, and commentator, you can just stuff it?

Because what really gets me is that this is a comment about narcissism. And the writer ends this comment I-don’t-like with, “and I’m not a narcissist.” Which immediately makes me think that he/she is a narcissist.

But it also sounds like it’s coming from a narcissist. I feel like there’s an attempt to reel me in, to undermine, to, to, slime all over everything.  Sometimes, narcissists like to troll, like to present themselves as victims. Sometimes, they do a sort of hiding in plain sight. Covert narcissists. Then, there’s the narcissist who claims to not be a narcissist. Just so they can press some buttons and laugh at the discomfort they cause.

But maybe I’m over-reacting.

This comment has made me uncomfortable. And because of that, the comment is hiding in moderation-land. And maybe that’s all the warning I need.

If it makes you uncomfortable, don’t go there.

What’s moderate? Letting this person comment and then possibly opening some floodgates to a conversation I don’t want to have? Or is it my duty to just take on the bad with the good and get on with it? Just because I don’t want to do it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

Do you publish comments that you disagree with? That you don’t like? That make you uncomfortable? What are we supposed to be moderating? What’s moderate, anyway?